Posted by: careeradvisor | March 19, 2009

Drivers License Number and SSN needed on application?

By Career Advisor

Question:

Is there any particular reason why any company needs your driver’s license number AND social security number on a job application?

I applied for a position and got a response from an employer. I received application documents as well and the application asked for my driver’s license number and my social security number.

For some reason, I felt uneasy and for other reasons, decided the job wasn’t for me. But I have friends who refuse to give that information to companies unless an offer is close to being made.

This application was for CONSIDERATION for an interview, not necessarily a guarantee of an interview.

Why does anyone need this type of information up front? Thanks!

Answer:

There are 2 scenarios of why these things are asked for on applications:

  1. The employer is collecting this information on the application so that they have it for later. Human Resource professionals are always on the lookout for ways where they can make their job easier. If they can eliminate the need to ask you for this information later it will save them time and energy. In a large corporation one recruiter may be hiring for 100 position at once. If there are 3 interviews for each position it would make sense to the recruiter that they collect all the information at once so they do not have to go back to theĀ  100 candidates to collect it later.
  2. The employer is asking for this information to check your driving record and do a background or credit check before your interview. I know of a national company that’s located in the South that requires that they do a credit check on every candidate before they can interview. They do this to weed out the applicants to cut down on the amount of interviews that the manager has to do. This is legal as long as they have that same role for everyone that applies.

Things to remember about this:

  • Always ask why the company needs this information. If after explanation you are still not comfortable, don’t give the information until you are made an offer.
  • You should be careful of giving that information to a small business before you are made an offer. A small business may not have the oversight from professionally trained H.R. professionals to make sure that the information remains confidential.
  • Only give the information that you feel comfortable giving.
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Responses

  1. If it is for a government job or a job that has contracts with the government, then I could see the requirement. Otherwise, the HR folk may be on some some slippery legal ground IMHO.


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